Nottingham. City. Council. Are. Idiots.

Four years ago, spurred on by the London Olympics, a lot of people with no brains took up cycling, and so joined a lot of other people with no brains who already cycled.

I think I should explain, for about the six hundredth time, that I ride a bike sometimes. But – being in possession of a brain – I tend to do the following:

  • keep away from traffic whenever possible
  • use cycle paths wherever possible
  • follow the rules in the Highway Code

As we all know, though, the vast majority of cyclists do none of these things. They deliberately ride in traffic, deliberately get in the way of traffic, deliberately refuse to use cycle paths and cycle lanes, and do not abide by a single rule in the Highway Code. And they’re just the good ones. The long and the short of it is that the number of brain dead cyclists on the roads has increased dramatically since London, and the Rio Olympics appear to have given the problem another kick start. As a result, the number of actually dead cyclists continues to rise.

Here in Nottingham, the City Council has decided that we should be like Amsterdam as far as bikes are concerned (it also decided we should be like Munich, Hanover, Vienna, Zagreb, and lots of other places it was nice to visit on expensive “fact finding” trips about tram systems, but that’s another story). Consequently, it has continued to plan and introduce more and more dedicated cycle routes – bravely ignoring all opposition – as it steamrollers its Cycle City Ambition Programme through every inch of road.

Probably the worst example at the moment is along Castle Boulevard and the surrounding area. This what the road used to look like:Castle Boulevard before the dedicated cycle route

Notice how the lanes were wide and there was already a cycle lane marked out.

But this is what it is like now, after the installation of Nottingham City Council’s Glorious Cycle Superhighway:Castle Boulevard with the dedicated cycle route

You can see how the kerbed area on the left has taken a significant amount of road away from motor vehicles. If you go back towards the city centre you will also notice that all the residential parking along the side where the cycle route is has been lost.

Further away from the city, at the junction with Abbey Bridge, the roundabout which used to be two lanes wide is now only a single lane (as are all the feed roads). This older shot is from the Lenton side before Google has had a chance to update its imagery:Castle Boulevard and two lanes on the roundabout

As a result – and bearing in mind that this is a main route into the city centre and the Castle Marina Retail Park – traffic is frequently queueing on to the roundabout, even outside rush hour. Nottingham City Council has, in its quest to make sweet love to all cyclists while systematically screwing all motorists, created serious congestion.

But I haven’t got to my point yet, I’m just about to show you proof that Nottingham City Council is staffed by complete and utter f–kwits.

Let’s turn left from Castle Boulevard and on to Abbey Bridge. Here’s what the road looked earlier this year (again, Google imagery hasn’t been updated yet):Abbey Bridge before the cycle route

Nice wide road with a cycle lane either side. Enough room for cars and lorries to keep well away from cyclists.

Here’s what it looks like now, with the Superhighway installed:Abbey Bridge with the cycle superhighway installed

You can’t quite see how narrow the lanes are now that more than a quarter of the road’s width has been given over to the new kerbed cycle route. Back down by the roundabout they’re narrower still, AND they have put in a pedestrian crossing more or less ON the roundabout itself.

Just consider this a moment. The area is more than 90% student accommodation, and is a ten minute walk from the University main campus. Anyone who has ever had to drive during rush hour where there are students and pedestrian crossings will know how much of a delay that can create as the crossing spends more time on red than it does on green. And you purposely put such a crossing right on a roundabout which – as we’ve already seen – is on a road which was busy to begin with, and which has been made more so by the halving of its capacity. And the problems already being encountered have occurred during summer before the students come back…? But I still haven’t come to my point yet – and you’re going to love it!

As you travel over Abbey Bridge and down the other side, you approach the junction with Lenton Lane on the left and Gregory Street on the right. This is what it looks like right now:The Abbey Bridge traffic lights

As the cycle superhighway ends, the road opens up into two lanes at the lights. The lanes are clearly marked as you approach, thus:Abbey Bridge lights - road markings

One detail you might not notice is that, having spent millions on building a dedicated and segregated cycle route, the Council f—kwits have not seen fit to provide any cycle lane between the end of the superhighway and the cycle forward area at the lights. You will understand that in normal operation, hundreds of cars will be trying to move into that left hand lane while – theoretically, at least – hundreds of Bradley Wigginses will be trying to move into it from the superhighway. And it’s not marked up in any way!

But I’m still not there yet. And here it comes.

This is what the road looked like until two days ago. At the weekend they had the road markers out, and this is what they did at this junction. It is exactly the same as in the photo above on the approach, but this is what you have when you get there:Abbey Bridge lights - cycle route markings

Precisely what that left turn arrow is doing there is anyone’s guess. But the placement of a marked cycle lane right in the path of traffic has to be the most stupid and dangerous thing I have ever seen carried out by people in positions of ill-deserved power.

It’s so dangerous it’s criminal. Literally.

I should point out that the last three images were taken from the same video clip I recorded when I drove through the junction today. I didn’t have a picture of the junction prior to the weekend so I simply erased the new cycle lane in the 2nd image to show what it looked like last week.

They simply cannot leave it like this, as it is an accident waiting to happen. The big question, though, is what will they do? The road is too busy – a lot of people turn right – to restrict traffic to just the right hand lane. It isn’t wide enough to accommodate the superhighway and two lanes either at or beyond this junction (I guess that’s why it ends 50m short). There are definitely two lanes on the other side. And the road has been two lanes for so long – decades – changing it now would be dangerous. In any case, the road leads to the ring road, and is a major route to Long Eaton, Beeston, Chilwell, and Derby.

Lenton students are idiots

Someone found the blog on that search term. ALL students are idiots. The problem with Lenton is that 99.9% of the population is student, so the problem is amplified.

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